Home Forums Marketing mastery Sending samples to stockists

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    • Total posts: 72

    Hi there,

    I’m thinking of including a sample with my stockist info pack when I approach a store to stock our products.

    Retailers – what info would you expect in a first contact info pack? How much do you expect the product to look nice & entice you, how much detail do you want? What tends to win you over?

    Wholesalers – any tips to share? :)

    Random question – does anyone know where to get the special goo to attach samples to a page?

    Thanks everyone!

    • Total posts: 1,815

    The ‘goo’ is called rubber cement and is available from art supply stores. You normally apply it with a palette or flat knife. You should also purchase a small square ‘rubber pickup’ to pick up unwanted extra bits.

    It’s the same rubber cement we used to use to glue bromides, bromide text galleys and more before computers came into use.

    • Total posts: 518

    Assuming I am a typical retailer here is an insight into a retailers brain:

    I am very busy. I have stuff I am working on going out months ahead. I just want to focus on running my business and doing what we do. Any new product that comes along is going to be a distraction to our efforts and take some degree of time/resources to bring it on board. Therefore I am not really interested.

    However, I am not short sighted and know that there are new products, ideas etc that do come along from time to time that are worth the effort. Therefore I will leave a chink in my defences for the interesting products and deals to get through.

    So you have to 2 things. First get noticed and get my interest. And second, which is often the most overlooked, get me over my reluctance to divert effort or resources from what we are already doing to include you.

    Get noticed

    Unless mass marketing this is not a good approach. As a retailer this is where I am at when dealing with e-mail. It is a task I just want to get out the way. The most important thing I will be doing is dealing with customer e-mails followed by mails from existing acquaintances. But first I will be ruthlessly culling anything that looks like spam. I will be doing this with the mind set of a pest exterminator which unless your selling anti-spam software isn’t a good frame of mind to be selling to me. If you must use e-mail, make it very clear (put it in the header) that you are an Australian business this will at least get you ahead of all the Chinese and India mass marketing mails.

    Much better than E-mail because these days important stuff comes by post. However, again your mail out will not be a single thing I will be focusing on. I don’t read my mail I ‘sort’ my mail. I have various trays and pigeon holes around my desk into which after a quick scan to see if anything leaps out go invoices/statements/bills etc to be dealt with later. Now there is also a tray for ‘stuff’ this is where your marketing letter will go. No matter how good a product is I could not conceive of picking up a phone straight away and saying ‘I have just got your thing and I must have it’. So your promotion (if it passes the first scan and doesn’t go straight to the round filing cabinet) will end up ‘to be dealt with later’. So your job is to make me remember that I put your promo in the ‘to be dealt with later’ pile and to actually get me to recover it from here and look into it.

    Ok, so how do you do that. Samples are a really good idea. This will give me something to touch and feel while I scan your letter. This will help me remember that I received something from you when you phone a few days later to check that it arrived.

    Get me involved
    Unless I can see your product making me hundreds of dollars then I will be reluctant to get distracted by it. So to get over this you need to be seen to at least understand that there is effort involved on my part and work out how you can help to lessen the effort. Ask yourself how can I make this as easy as possible for the retailer to add this thing to his range. Will he need to rearrange shelf space, create storage space, tie up cash, update his website, create displays etc. Brainstorm every inconvenience you can think of that taking on your product will cause the retailer. Now how can you help the retailer to overcome some of these?

    Ok, so that shows you how a lot of retailers will think. It sounds like we are negative and not interested but (if we are at all successful) we will just be very busy. Obviously we do take on new products but only a fraction of those we get offered. So put yourself in the retailers shoes using the info above and it may give you a way in. You are ahead of most the game just by asking for advice on FS. So good luck.

    • Total posts: 5

    Steve, from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for taking the time to write out a very realistic scenario for my benfit. I have taken everything on board.


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